From yesterday’s Boston Herald:
Mortgage brokers say consumers often say: â€œOh, Iâ€™ve already checked my credit score onlineâ€? – then a loan officer finds the personâ€™s FICO score is 50 or 100 points lower than the borrower thought.
â€œThis is becoming a real problem – a lot of people simply donâ€™t know the difference between FICO scores and other scores. They think itâ€™s all the same,â€? said Ginny Ferguson, a California mortgage broker and former chair of the National Association of Mortgage Brokersâ€™ credit-scoring committee.
FICO scores, developed by Fair Isaac Corp. (hence the name â€œFICOâ€?), are the mortgage industryâ€™s predominant credit measure.
Bottom line? If you want to know whether or not you will qualify for a mortgage loan of a certain amount, call a mortgage broker or bank. It’s their business to provide assistance to buyers, so don’t hesitate to ask them for their opinion. Based on a simple one-time phone call, you can get a general idea, and, if you go one step further, and give them your social security number, they can run your FICO scores and give you a pre-approval letter.
Don’t feel an obligation to get your mortgage loan through the first mortgage broker you call (although a lot of people do). However, don’t go all over the place, having everyone run your credit score, because it will show up as a negative, if you do.
What you end up qualifying for can be a lot different from what you think. Using the internet to get an estimate is kind of a waste of time. It’s not using real-life data, so don’t waste your time.
More information: Hereâ€™s the scoop on credit scores – By Kenneth R. Harney, The Boston Herald